Wednesday, November 14, 2012

pumpkin doughnut muffins

Just so we're clear, what we're dealing with here are doughnuts sneakily disguised as muffins. But we're okay with that, right? I think we should all get on board. Disguising our doughnuts as muffins is a good thing. It means that there are no holes in our doughnuts (more surface area for eating) and that we get to avoid deep frying (and the inevitable hot oil splatters that go with it). I was also going to claim that doughnut muffins are healthier than plain old doughnuts, but I think I forfeited that argument right around the time I decided to submerge them in melted butter.
I made these doughnut muffins while I was in North Carolina visiting my dear friend Julia and her family. Julia is a writer and photographer who shares stunning photos, craft ideas, and stories about her beautiful, sweet, perfect baby girls (not that I'm biased or anything, but I'm totally planning on stealing one) on her blog, Calm Cradle. The weekend I was there, she whipped up these adorable DIY flower pot cake stands, and she's posted a tutorial here so that you can learn how you can make one of your very own. 
Back to our doughnuts muffins. Inside, they're soft and dense, like any good cake doughnut should be. Outside, they're sweet and cinnamony, like a classic morning muffin. Made with pumpkin and plenty of fall spices, the doughnut muffins are also deliciously seasonal.  And toddler approved. I think I heard Julia's two year old, Cricket, say "more muffin" approximately twenty times after eating her first one. I think it's clear she's taking after her Auntie Rach in the baked goods department. 

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Adapted from Everyday Food via Ezra Poundcake

3 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the Glaze:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter and flour 24 muffin cups. Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and pumpkin. Cream the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a spatula between additions. Alternate adding 1/3 of the dry ingredients and half the pumpkin mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins, and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes. 

Melt the remaining stick of butter. In another bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Dunk each muffin in melted butter (the original recipe says to brush each muffin with butter, but Julia didn't have a pastry brush and I was on vacation where calories don't count so I pretty much submerged them) and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. You may not need all of the butter or cinnamon sugar. Let the muffins cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

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